Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Tuesdays with Market

Puerco Lloron- Oh, Marron.

When it comes to our cultural and political figures, we often tolerate a great number of character flaws. Think Bill Clinton. Muhammed Ali. Papa Hemingway. If only restaurants were given the same wide berth. And when a restaurant seems to flaunt its faults as egregiously as Puerco Lloron, it makes me want to cry. Does the name of the restaurant, the "weeping pig", seem to taunt you, too? Can they get away with this? It's thus far unclear. What we do know is that this hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant, tucked away in a long-forgotten lower level of the Market, is wonderfully- blissfully- filthy. Even if Samuel Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction were half-correct in his estimation of a pig's hygienic standards, this place wouldn't pass muster as even a stop-through-for-the-night kind of sty. Allow me to digress, to express my Mexican food bona fides, if you will. Many a wonderful weekend afternoon did Helen and I spend, along with my lifelong buddy Adrian, in the Mission District of San Francisco, sampling many a bottle of beer, hunting down this tostada with room temp ceviche, that tongue burrito, often in the type of establishments in which refrigeration as we know it had not yet made landfall. The difference: the food at Puerco Lloron, I'm sorry to say, just ain't doin' it for me. I ordered the carne asada. In the flavor department (Platonic ideal: rich, juicy complexity of lime juice and jalapeno love) it fell short; the insult was that it was also saltier than hell! And this coming from Mr. Just Regained His Palate After Oversalting Every Meal He Prepared. No, that ain't cool. Helen was happy with her stuffed pepper, and the beans and rice estaban bien, pero ... there was crusted salsa funk spread from one corner of the open kitchen/counter/hot line to the other. Nothing looked fresh, nothing was bustling except the cucarachas. Don't give this place a second chance. It appears to have somehow survived, and I understand the complete and utter paucity of good Mexican this far north, but let's either throw the subpars overboard or starve the beast altogether. Seattlans deserve better, damn it!

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